AP PHOTOS: Editor selections from the Middle East

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AP Middle East Editor Selections 12/15
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AP PHOTOS: Editor selections from the Middle East
In this Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014 aerial photo, Shiite faithful pilgrims gather between the holy shrine of Imam Hussein, top, and the holy shrine of Imam Abbas, bottom, for Arbaeen in the Shiite holy city of Karbala, 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014. The holiday marks the end of the forty day mourning period after the anniversary of the 7th century martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad's grandson. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
In this Friday, Dec. 12, 2014 photo, Shiite faithful pilgrims gather between the holy shrine of Imam Hussein and the holy shrine of Imam Abbas, in the background, during the preparations for the Muslim festival of Arbaeen in the Shiite holy city of Karbala, 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Iraq. The holiday marks the end of the 40-day mourning period after the anniversary of the 7th century martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad's grandson. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
Shiite faithful pilgrims pray at the holy shrine of Imam Abbas for Arbaeen in the Shiite holy city of Karbala, 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014. The holiday marks the end of the forty day mourning period after the anniversary of the 7th century martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad's grandson. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
This aerial photo shows Shiite faithful pilgrims gather between, the holy shrine of Imam Hussein, left, and the holy shrine of Imam Abbas, right, for Arbaeen in the Shiite holy city of Karbala, 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014. The holiday marks the end of the forty day mourning period after the anniversary of the 7th century martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad's grandson. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
Shiite faithful pilgrims pray at the holy shrine of Imam Abbas for Arbaeen in the Shiite holy city of Karbala, 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014. The holiday marks the end of the forty day mourning period after the anniversary of the 7th century martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad's grandson. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
Shiite faithful pilgrims pray at the holy shrine of Imam Abbas during the preparations for the Muslim festival of Arbaeen in the Shiite holy city of Karbala, 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Dec. 12, 2014. The holiday marks the end of the 40-day mourning period after the anniversary of the 7th century martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad's grandson. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
This aerial photo shows Shiite faithful pilgrims gather between, the holy shrine of Imam Hussein, bottom, and the holy shrine of Imam Abbas, top, for Arbaeen in the Shiite holy city of Karbala, 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014. The holiday marks the end of the forty day mourning period after the anniversary of the 7th century martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad's grandson. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
Shiite faithful pilgrims gather between the holy shrine of Imam Hussein and the holy shrine of Imam Abbas, in the background, during the preparations for the Muslim festival of Arbaeen in the Shiite holy city of Karbala, 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Dec. 12, 2014. The holiday marks the end of the 40-day mourning period after the anniversary of the 7th century martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad's grandson. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
In this picture taken on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014, an Afghan actor sits on the ground after a suicide attack during a performance at the French Cultural Centre in Kabul, Afghanistan. A senior Afghan official said Friday, Dec. 12, 2014 that a German citizen has been killed in the suicide attack on a French-run school during yesterday's attack in Kabul. (AP Photo/Haider Yasa)
In this Friday, Dec. 5, 2014 photo, Iranian volunteer Rana Ashough, right, feeds a dog as her colleague Roya Ahmadi groom another, at the Vafa Animal Shelter in the city of Hashtgerd 43 miles (73 kilometers) west of the capital Tehran, Iran. Man’s best friend is seen as anything but in Iran, where city workers gun down strays and conservatives view pet dogs as a corrupting Western influence. But in a rare animal shelter in the countryside west of Tehran, hundreds of lucky pups have found mercy, and a growing number of Iranians are learning to love them. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
In this Friday, Dec. 5, 2014 photo, Homa Rashid, a lawyer and volunteer at the Vafa Animal Shelter, rests with a dog, in the city of Hashtgerd 43 miles (73 kilometers) west of the capital Tehran, Iran. More than 500 dogs find care and affection at the Vafa Animal Shelter, which was established through an endowment in 2004 and is the country'ss only licensed animal refuge. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
In this Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014 photo, Shanshan Feng of China plays a ball on the 14th hole during the final round of the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
In this Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014 photo, Iranian mourners beat their chests while attending Arbaeen ceremony, which marks the end of the 40-day mourning period after the anniversary of the 7th century martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad's grandson, at the shrine of the Shiite Saint Imam Abdulazim in Shahr-e-Ray, south of Tehran, Iran. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
in this Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014 photo, Palestinians watch Hamas masked gunmen display their military skills during a rally to commemorate the 27th anniversary of the Hamas militant group, in Gaza City. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
In this Friday, Dec. 12, 2014 photo, a Pakistani devotee, or malang, smokes during the celebrations of the three-day annual congregation of famous saint Data Ganjbaksh at his shrine in Lahore, Pakistan. Thousands of people traveled from all over Pakistan to attend the celebrations. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)
In this Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014 photo, Syrian singer Hazem Sharif, 21, from Aleppo in northern Syria, falls to the ground in prayer after he was named the winner of the popular pan-Arab song contest "Arab Idol," in Zouk Mosbeh neighborhood, north of Beirut, Lebanon. Sharif was crowned the most watched show in the Middle East, beating off his two rivals Palestinian Haitham Khalaily and Majed Al-Madani from Saudi Arabia. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)
In this Friday, Dec. 12, 2014 photo, Israeli soldiers grab a Palestinian holding a poster showing late Cabinet minister Ziad Abu Ain during a protest in Bethlehem, West Bank. Abu Ain collapsed and died shortly after scuffling with Israeli troops during a West Bank protest Wednesday. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)
In this Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014 photo, Palestinian Cabinet member Ziad Abu Ain, left, takes part in a protest against Israeli settlements in the village of Turmus Aya near the West Bank city of Ramallah. Abu Ain died shortly after the protest in which witnesses said Israeli troops fired tear gas at him and dozens of Palestinians marchers. Witnesses also said Abu Ain was beaten by an Israeli soldier. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)
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Across the Middle East this week, millions of Shiites marked a holy commemoration in Iraq despite the threat of attacks from the Sunni militants of the radical Islamic State group.

Pilgrims poured into the holy city of Karbala, Iraq, for Arbaeen. That is the commemoration marking the end of the 40-day mourning period after the anniversary of the seventh-century martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad's grandson.

In the West Bank, Palestinian Cabinet member Ziad Abu Ain died shortly after a confrontation with Israeli troops during a protest against Israeli settlements in the village of Turmus Aya near the West Bank city of Ramallah. His death sparked more protests.

In Afghanistan, a suicide attack struck the French Cultural Centre during a performance about violence in the country, killing a German citizen.

In Lebanon, 21-year-old singer Hazem Sharif from Aleppo in northern Syria was named the winner of the popular pan-Arab song contest "Arab Idol." Shanshan Feng of China won the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters golf tournament in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

In the Gaza Strip, The Associated Press profiled some of the two dozen people surfing there despite frigid temperatures and sewage in the water. Elsewhere in Gaza, masked gunmen took to the streets to mark the 27th anniversary of the Islamic militant group Hamas.

And in Iran, where man's best friend is seen by conservatives as a corrupting Western influence, a rare animal shelter is showing mercy to hundreds of lucky dogs.

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